Hillary Clinton’s misstatement about her 1996 visit to Bosnia is a “watershed event” that Carl Bernstein says reaffirms what he wrote in his Hillary biography — that she “has always had a difficult relationship with the truth.”
Clinton admitted that she "misspoke" last week when she said that as first lady she had landed under sniper fire during the Bosnia trip.
In a Bernstein article that appears on the blog of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, he quotes from “A Woman in Charge,” his 2007 Clinton bio:
“She has often chosen to obfuscate, omit, and avoid. It is an understatement by now that she has been known to apprehend truths about herself and the events of her life that others do not exactly share…
“Almost always, something holds her back from telling the whole story, as if she doesn’t trust the reader, listener, friend, interviewer, constituent — or perhaps herself — to understand the true significance of events.”
Bernstein writes on Cooper’s blog: “The Bosnian episode is a watershed event, because it indelibly brings to mind so many examples of this tendency — from the White House years and, worse, from Hillary Clinton’s take-no-prisoners presidential campaign. Her record as a public person is replete with ‘misstatements’ and elisions and retracted and redacted and revoked assertions.”
Hillary’s misstatement about Bosnia conjures up “another famous instance of faulty recollection,” Bernstein writes.
In January 1995, Hillary had just published her book “It Takes a Village,” which according to Bernstein was intended to redeem Clinton after, among other things, the failure of her healthcare program, Whitewater, and the Travel Office firings she ordered but denied ordering.
On her book tour, she was asked on National Public Radio about the discovery that week of “missing” billing records related to the Whitewater affair. Clinton said she had disclosed all relevant documents related to Whitewater, including “every document we had,” to the New York Times before the newspaper ran its original Whitewater story during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
“Even her closest aides — as in the case of the Bosnian episode 18 years later — could not imagine what possessed her to say such a thing,” Bernstein observes.
“It was simply not true … The White House was forced — once again — to acknowledge the first lady had been ‘mistaken’ … and Times columnist Bill Safire that month coined the memorable characterization of Hillary Clinton as a ‘congenital liar.’”
Bernstein again quotes from his book: “Almost always, Hillary has stood for good things. Yet there is a disconnect between her convictions and her words and actions. This is where Hillary disappoints. But the jury remains out. She still has time to prove her case, to effectuate those things that make her special, not fear them or camouflage them.”
Bernstein concludes: “The jury — armed with definitive evidence like the CBS tape of Hillary Clinton’s Bosnian adventure — seems on the verge of returning a negative verdict on her candidacy.”
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